zzz

FREE E-Mail Alerts for Daily Coin Picks HERE!

Stay ahead of the pack with our newsletter and receive "Daily Coin Picks" in your e-mail inbox before everyone else. As coin investment is very time-sensitive, you will want to get the news as quickly as possible so you do not miss out on the next wave.


How to Build Crate Litecoin Rig with 5 or 6 Graphic Cards!

Download this video for viewing in HD on your smartphone or computer.
Click Here to Download High-Quality HD video to your Smartphone or Computer.

To maximize your Litecoin rig and also to get the most out of your dollar (bang for your dollar), you will want to build your Litecoin rig out of something like a milk crate and put as many graphic cards on it.

The maximum number of graphic cards you can put on a motherboard currently is around 6 so you don’t have to build 2 machines when you can do it with one.

In this step-by-step tutorial, I will show you how to make such a crate-based Litecoin rig out of a milk crate with 5 graphic cards.  (You can also put 6 graphic cards, depending on what graphic cards you use.)  You can even put just 1 graphic card for a start and add 4 or 5 later down the road when you have money.  But this setup allows you to expand your Litecoin rig up to 6 graphic cards with 2 power supplies.

And yes, with this Litecoin rig, you can also mine any other virtual currencies that use Scrypt like Dogecoin, Coinye coins, etc…etc…

This guide is really designed for those of you who want to make a Litecoin rig solely for the purpose of the most efficient mining BUT if you want to make a Litecoin rig that can also double as a gaming PC, see our tutorial on How to Build a 2.6Mh/s Litecoin Mining Rig!

Parts List for Building Crate Litecoin Rig

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-1

First, you will obviously need a crate.  For building a rig with 3 to 4 graphic cards, you can go with a smaller crate but for building a rig with 5 to 6 graphic cards, I recommend you get a big 6-gallon milk crate which will fit everything including your motherboard, 2 power supplies, and many graphic cards.  (You can also get the 3-pack 6-gallon milk crates if you intend on building more than 1 rig.)

Why a milk crate?

It’s cheap and easy to cut out/drill holes and will allow you to easily transport the rigs later on if needed for repair and whatnot.  I should have another rig though in the future that’s purely based on wood also.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-2

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-4

Probably the single most important part for a good Crate Litecoin rig is the motherboard.  I have gone through so many different motherboards and I can tell you which ones to avoid and which ones to get.

Simply put it, get a motherboard that has 4 PCIe 16x slots and 2 1x slots.  The PCIe 16x slot is the one that has a “tab” while the 1x slot is the smaller.  This type of motherboard will allow you to build a rig with up to 6 graphic cards.

Whether you use AMD or Intel, it actually doesn’t matter but I find AMD motherboards a bit cheaper on average.

Also, avoid getting cheaper motherboards as some of them have hard time using 1X risers for PCIe 1X slots.  I have a bunch of cheaper motherboards that are sitting in my office, mostly because the 1X risers do not work on them.  I have tried all the hacks also such as 1X riser shorting wire but some of the cheaper motherboards are simply not worth your time.

With a good motherboard, you will be able to use 1X risers just fine without doing anything, no shorting wire or even powered risers needed.  And yes, avoid using powered risers as many users have reported fires and may become fire hazards (go Google powered risers, you will see what I mean).

I highly recommend you spend the most on your motherboard, probably anywhere between $125-250 depending on which motherboard you get.

Currently I am using GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 motherboard, which supports up to 6 graphic cards and I have had ZERO trouble using 1X risers or even 4X/8X risers just fine without any shorting wires nor powered risers.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-3

For graphic cards, I highly recommend getting the Radeon HD 7970 or the Radeon R9 280X.  Try to get graphic cards with 2 or 3 fans and avoid the reference models as they run much quieter and more power-efficient allowing you to run them faster while saving money on electricity as the fans don’t run as often.

I am using Radeon R9 290X and R9 290 graphic cards in my tutorial here but I am simply using them as I ordered a bunch of them couple weeks back not knowing this fact.  But going with an older graphic card that has good cooling is more ideal as I have learned.

The bottom line is, you need to get graphic cards that will give you the most megahashes for the money spent, you can do the simple math here:

One 7970 or R9 280X will produce around 700Kh/s each while consuming around 230 watts while R9 290X will produce around 880Kh/s each while consuming around 350 watts.

If you do the math beforehand, you will see that the R9 290X graphic cards are not worth the money in comparison and they are super loud.  I have 4 crate rigs sitting in my garage right now and I can hear them when I sleep.  So, definitely go with any graphic cards that have great cooling, which will run quieter and more efficient.

Graphic cards are also in shortage worldwide because of miners and you may have to hunt them down in various different places to get them.  I should have another post on that soon.

You can easily mix and match different type of graphic cards also as CGMiner allows you to easily set multiple settings for each card.  But I do recommend staying with same graphic cards if possible as it makes your configuration easier (as they are same or similar for all the cards).

 

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-5

For CPU processor, I highly recommend the cheapest one you can get, I highly recommend the AMD Sempron, which uses very little power and you do not need any CPU power for mining Litecoin rigs as the mining is done with graphic cards.  This is another reason why I prefer using AMD motherboard/CPU combo as Intel CPU is much more expensive.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-6

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-7

To power your rig, you will obviously need some power supplies.  There does exist some really high-powered power supplies near 3000 watts but that’s not feasible as they are hard to get and probably will cost you a lot more to get over getting 2 power supplies.

Since power is an essential part of a rig, I highly recommend you to spend more money on getting the best power supplies out there.  Good power supplies can give you some energy savings on electricity and also stability for long-term life of your rig.

Some of the better power supplies I have used in the past include ThermalTake, Seasonic, EVGA, and some more.  You will need to get the correct wattage of power supplies depending on the graphic cards used.

As a general rule of thumb, if you are using 7970 or R9 280X graphic cards, you will most likely need two 850-watt power supplies for a total of 1700-watts of power for up to 6 graphic cards.  (7970 and R9 280X both use around 240-250 watts of power for one graphic card.)

If you are using R9 290 or R9 290X. you will likely need one 1200-watt power supply and one 850-watt power supply for a total of 2050-watts of power for up to 5 graphic cards. (R9 290 and R9 290X both use around 300-watts of power for one graphic card.)

The important thing to remember here is to get “more than enough” power for your overall power usage, this will allow you to run your graphic cards at full speed with maximum overclocking.

Here’s some power supplies I recommend that I have personally used on my rigs:

And yes, I have successfully mixed-and-matched different brand power supplies for those of you wondering.

 

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-8

So, how do you connect two power supplies together?  There are some ways by shorting the green and black wires of the two power supplies but that may require some wire cutting and probably not recommended.  Instead, get one of these Add2PSU, which allows you to easily connect two power supplies safely.  All you have to do is connect a Molex cable from your main power supply and connect the motherboard cable from your slave power supply.  Add2PSU will also allow you to connect more than 2 power supplies if needed.  For $20, you can’t beat this type of safe power supply connector that’s small and easy to use.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-9

Most power supplies come with its own cable ties but I highly recommend you just get your own as those are cheap cable ties that can break.  You can get these on Amazon or at your local hardware store.

You will need regular-sized cable ties for most of the tie-downs on your rig and also the small-sized cable ties that are small enough to fit the screw holes on the motherboard.   Try to get cable ties that are colored as in my experience they are much stronger than the white or black cable ties for the smaller cable ties.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-10

You will most likely need to cut the milk crate while making your rig to custom-fit everything.  For those of you starting out, you can get a hand-saw and for those of you who are serious about making multiple-rigs, get one of these motorized hand-saws from Milwaukee.  This one tool saves me so much time and my hands are not aching after making multiple rigs per day.  Plus I am sure you will find this tool very handy for doing other odd jobs around the house.  If you are on a budget, try one of these jab saws also.

Also you will need some plastic risers that will “rise” your motherboard from the bottom of the crate.  I used some plastic risers I found at the electronic section at my local hardware store.  If you have hard time finding such a thing, you can also try these square bumpers on Amazon, which I have also used and recommend.  Remember, you can always get a bit creative and find an alternative solution to these parts.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-23

Probably the single-most ingredient to your rigs is the risers.  While building multiple rigs in the last couple months, I have learned that you can use many types of risers.

PCIe 16X will actually allow you to use the regular 16x-to-16x riser, 8x-to-16x riser, 4x-to-16x riser, and even 1x-to-16x riser.  Since we are building these rigs for the purposes of mining rigs, you can use pretty much any type of riser for PCIe 16x slots.  Your bandwidth will be a lot lower with 1x-to-16x riser but then again, it will not affect the performance your Litecoin mining.  I have successfully used a mix-and-match of many different risers.

Also, make sure to get some really long risers for the graphic cards that sit on the ends of the rig.  Without these, you may be limited to putting your graphic cards near the center of the rig, something you don’t want.

For PCIe 1X slots, you will obviously need 1x-to-16x risers, so make sure you have enough of them.

The best place to get these risers are on eBay.  Check for the lowest prices shipping from China as they take 2 weeks to ship but will be much cheaper than buying on Amazon or any U.S. sellers.  (Should only cost you $5 per riser if you order early enough.)  If you are short on time, you can get these on Amazon.

Also stay away from powered risers as they tend to start fires and you do not need them if you are using good motherboards.

How to Build Crate Litecoin Rig with 5-6 Graphic Cards!

Step 1. Do a dry-fit test with your motherboard and 2 power supplies inside the milk crate.  If you used the 6-gallon milk crate, it should fit two power supplies on one side “perfectly”.

This design will actually allow you to place the rig sideways which may work well for reference model cards that emit heat through one end of the graphic cards.  You can however experiment with your own design, I am just showing you how I built mine.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-11

Step 2. You will need to make sure the USB ports are accessible when you mount your motherboard on the crate.  Do a dry-fit and find out where you need to make the cuts to get access to your USB ports.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-12

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-13

Step 3. Since I will be placing my crate sideways and my power cable will need access from the bottom of the crate, I will need to cut holes where the power cables will need to connect.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-14

Step 4. Once you have dry-fitted your motherboard and 2 power supplies, make some markings and simply cut them out as you need.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-15

Step 5. After cutting, do another dry-fit test to make sure you’ve correctly cut the holes.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-16

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-17

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-18

Step 6. It’s time to put the CPU on your motherboard, just align the triangle and strap it on.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-19

Step 7. Put the CPU fan on and also connect the CPU fan cable to your motherboard.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-20

Step 8. Put your memory into the memory slot, make sure you hear a nice “click” that will ensure your memory is in place correctly.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-21

Step 9. Make sure the CPU fan cable does not have a chance to hit the CPU fan.  I’ve had this happen to me before and it took me hours before I figured out the CPU fan was being blocked and my rig would randomly shut down because my CPU overheated.  I know it’s a small thing but it can go long ways so use some cable ties to make sure this does not happen.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-22

Step 10. Use plastic risers next and put them where the motherboard will go to raise your motherboard a bit from the bottom of the crate.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-24

Step 11. Put the motherboard on the crate and start using your smaller cable ties and tie down the motherboard securely to the crate using the screw holes on the motherboard.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-25

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-26

You don’t have to use all the screw holes but 4 or 5 good anchors with your cable ties should do the job as shown below.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-27

Step 12. Use the bigger cable ties to secure your power supplies.  I used one long cable tie (made up of multiple cable ties) going horizontally across and also one long cable each vertically for each power supply.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-28

Step 13. Once motherboard and power supplies are securely in place, test it out and make sure nothing falls out when you shake it.

Once that’s done, you will need to connect the motherboard and CPU cable from your main power supply to the motherboard.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-29

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-30

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-31

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-32

Use cable ties to get the motherboard and CPU cables out of the way near the bottom of the crate and this will also make your rig lookin’ neat and professional.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-33

Step 14. Next, do a dry-fit test with your graphic cards.  Make sure the exhaust vents are not being blocked.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-34

Step 15. You will need to place either 1 or two wooden blocks on the side of the crate to hold the graphic cards in place.  Get creative here and find the best way to get your graphic cards sitting at the top of your crate.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-35

Step 16. Place the graphic cards one-by-one in place and use your PCIe risers to connect them to your PCIe slots.  Also don’t forget to connect a power button to your motherboard which I forgot in my video and had to re-do it later.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-36

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-37

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-38

Step 17. Connect PCIe power cables from your power supplies to your graphic cards.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-39

Step 18. Lastly, connect the motherboard cable from your slave power supply and molex cable from your main power supply.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-40

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-41

Step 19. Connect two power cables to your new Litecoin rig, connect DVI or HDMI cable to the first graphic card and power your rig on!

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-42

Step 20. If you get your rig booting, the rest should be easy to do.  Follow our Ubuntu guide next.

howto-make-crate-litecoin-rig-43

 

Like my stuff? You can send me coins!
BTC: 15ZgN5mFaK2cK2wbR6yAm2CvdWZu3xmXmU


Want to Contact Me? I am on Twitter 24/7!
Twitter
First time to digital currency?
Please see What is a Litecoin? FIRST!!!

111 thoughts on “How to Build Crate Litecoin Rig with 5 or 6 Graphic Cards!

    1. TheCleanGame

      You’re my new link for informing peeps about how to build GPU rigs and how GPU rigs are put together. 🙂

      Scc has thousands of them in 3 data centers in Brazil. When you guys mine your coins, I highly recommend you cash some of them in for Bitcoin and buy some shares in this site. We’ve been enjoying a .5% a day earnings on our bitcoin for the last 2 months… seriously. 🙂 Waaaay better to collect satoshi dust than wallet dust. 🙂

      http://thecleangame.net/multicoin has more info on the service and http://thecleangame.net/sccrocks shows a comparison chart being maintained by ‘suchmoon.’

      Aweome stuff, seriously hope to see you all there. 🙂

      Keep it Clean! 😀

      Reply
  1. al

    Your guides are excellent, Max ! You’re ubuntu guide has worked perfectly for me.
    Have you ever had any heat issues in the milkcrate ? Melting like the scarecrow ? I’ve thought about doing this method, but I’ve been able to find used cases for about the same price as a new milk crate. Once my risers arrive I’ll pull the GPU’s out and fit them to a wooden frame I’ll build to rest on top.

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      I think plastic is actually pretty safe so i would’t worry about melting so much, crates are definitely the way to go but i m looking into custom wooden designs also which i will post here when i can perfect it.

      Reply
    2. Max Lee Post author

      I am actually using custom wooden frame now they are slightly better than milk crates but milk crates arent bad at all in my tests. Both will need some kind of cooling anyways so in that sense they are nearly same in performance but I think wood is better way to go as milk crates can slowly melt and deform over time.

      Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      You dont need powered risers if u use good motherboards, plus powered risers have been known to cause fires. K.i.s.s.

      Reply
      1. Shin

        Not to argue, but from what I’ve read, NOT using powered risers (unless it’s a small # of cards) can cause fires since you’re potentially overloading the mb. Not sure why powered risers would start fires unless they have a short (which should be obvious immediately), since it’s actually simplifying the path the electricity takes.

        Reply
  2. thresher

    Your guides are awesome, thank you.
    In this one you mention you built a number of these for friends. How on earth did you convince your friends to do this? I showed mine deposits, mining, etc, and they still don’t get it. Not to mention if you describe this to someone over 30 they think its a pyramid scheme lol.

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      Well I’ve been telling everyone I know about it and it takes on average couple days for “normal” people to get what it’s really about. But the biggest point is that it’s a “risk-free” investment. If Litecoin/Bitcoin market crashes down to earth, you can still re-coup 80-90% of your investment by selling your graphic cards/rigs on ebay.

      I never “convinced” my friends though, they “wanted” to throw money at me to make them rigs.

      Reply
      1. broken

        Thanks again. One of them was convinced and is pleased with the results, so far. Took him about two weeks to come around of showing him my payments though lol.

        Reply
  3. Sherrie

    Great material -thanks! I haven’t built a computer (or rig) before. How can I find instructions for the details of how to connect these components together? (or do the components come with instructions?) (Note: I have built music-related projects before, like an amp, speaker cabinet.)

    Reply
  4. Mo Rahal

    Hello,

    first allow to say to say thanx for your tuts they are awesome. Boomshakalaka :). I just noticed that there is no mention in this tutorial of a harddisc for the rig. Is it safe to assume that this rig will be running on a Live Ubuntu USB. If thats the case, does running a live USB on a rig not incur a loss in KH/s? Just curious??

    Reply
  5. Shay

    Hey Max,
    Thanks for this great guide. I’m wondering if this setup is cost effective…
    Lets say I use 6 x R9 280x card = 6 x 750 kh/s = 4500 kh/s
    That will give me around 1 LTC a day in the current difficulty…
    If I want 50 LTC a day or more don’t you think it will be better to spend the money on ASIC or FPGA hardware?

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      Difficulty of Bitcoin is growing crazy by the time you get your ASIC machine it will mine almost nothing…

      Reply
  6. c12345y

    Thanks for your HQ tuts, there are awesome!

    I know that you have already answer to a similar question,
    but could you develop a bit more:
    Why don’t you use powered pci-e riser cable?

    I have read that they are necessary in order to prevent the motherboard to burn.

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      If you use good motherboards that will not happen at least has not happened to me yet. But powered risers are known to cause fire I avoid them because they are more fire hazard than helpful.

      Reply
  7. Eric

    I have this same motherboard running ubuntu with 5- 270x’s, but I can only get it to detect 4 cards . How do you get it to detect 5 cards ?? This is ververy frustrating. Is there a magic spell , or number of goats I need to sacrifice?

    Reply
    1. TD

      Here’s another in the exact same situation. Cannot get more than 4 cards recognized!!!

      Please, do not ignore us! How can we detect beyond 4 cards?!?!?!! I am at my wits’ end!

      MAX???!?!?!! Please!

      Reply
      1. Max Lee Post author

        Try adding one card at a time and swap out your risers, some risers work sometimes and others don’t, you have to figure out which riser is causing trouble.

        Reply
        1. TD

          I appreciate the quick reply!

          I did exactly that. That’s how I finally got up to 4 cards. My issue seems to come when I use the 1x slots. Plugging a card into either slot causes the mobo tonot even boot past the post page. Any clue?

          Thanks.

          TD

          Reply
    2. TD

      I have the same mobo (gigabyte 990fxa ud3). I did disable the the onboard sound. I tried eaxh 1x individually, multiple times to no avail. All four 16x doing fine. I’m just lost on the 1x slots.

      TD

      Reply
      1. Max Lee Post author

        make sure u run the aticonfig after putting the new cards in, did u do that? and also u must reboot before running cgminer.

        Reply
        1. TD

          Sometimes, it rarely boots (maybe 1 in 8), with card in 1x slot and just sits there with a blank screen. But, the time it did come up, I ran aticonfig. The response didn’t reveal that it found anything new. But, I then shut down and boot back up. Nothing. I don’t even run cgminer. Been trying to confirm the cards with sudo aticonfig –lsa.

          Was thinking of reinstalling everything. But, doesn’t seem to be an OS issue. Is it worth it?

          I can’t say I’ve ever felt this type of frustration. (I’m so close!)

          I do appreciate your responsiveness, knowledge and patience.

          TD

          Reply
          1. Max Lee Post author

            run “sudo aticonfig –initial -f –adapter=all”
            then do “cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf”

            at the top of the file, you should see:
            Section “ServerLayout”
            Identifier “aticonfig Layout”
            Screen 0 “aticonfig-Screen[0]-0” 0 0
            Screen “aticonfig-Screen[1]-0” RightOf “aticonfig-Screen[0]-0”
            Screen “aticonfig-Screen[2]-0” RightOf “aticonfig-Screen[1]-0”
            Screen “aticonfig-Screen[3]-0” RightOf “aticonfig-Screen[2]-0”
            Screen “aticonfig-Screen[4]-0” RightOf “aticonfig-Screen[3]-0”
            Screen “aticonfig-Screen[5]-0” RightOf “aticonfig-Screen[4]-0”

            That means 6 graphic cards are detected correctly.

            I do that and the combination of swapping out risers until all of them are recognized.

            Reply
          2. TD

            So, I have tried multiple combinations to only get the same response when there is something in the 1x slot: Post screen. Then that redish color fills the screen, as if Ubuntu will load and….. freeze, nothing.

            Not just riser swapping. I also disabled the LAN, SATA and USB 3/2, that may share the same PCIe lane, according to the block diagram.

            Do I need to start mobo shopping?

            Thanks.

            TD

            Reply
  8. Ray

    I was wondering if anyone could tell me what I should specifically search for to find the power button that was used to actually turn the system on?

    I tried searching for “power button” and “power switch” on NCIX but neither of them seemed to work

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      It usually says “POWER SW” or something similar. If not see the motherboard manual which will tell you.

      Reply
  9. Bekzod

    HEy I really appreciate for your videos they are really helpful. I have a question, What is your POWER/W ? and what is your POWER COST $/per Khs? and how much do you pay for electricity for this mining rig? and what do you think is worth to invest 2500$ for this rig to mine litecoins or I can mine other coin so they could be more profitable?

    Thank You.

    Reply
  10. BT Rao

    Thanks for this detailed guide. Very clear and easy to follow.
    I am planning to setup 1 rig with 4 or 5 HD 7950 cards.
    Can i use all 1x to 16x non powered risers with GA 990FXA-UD3/5 MB?

    Here are the images of Vapor-X and both Dual-X cards i can buy from my local store.

    1.Sapphire Vapor-X http://imgur.com/mD308xg
    2 Dual-X 100352-2L http://imgur.com/vlAPKAi
    3.Dual-X 11196-19-20G http://imgur.com/rHCsV1e

    Looking for feedback from any users used above cards.
    Please correct me model numbers of the above cards and help me to choose best of 3 cards(Image based)for best hashrates, customization and stability.

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      Yes you can use all 1x to 16x risers. I would suggest getting the dual-x series the model doesn’t really matter I would go with the cheaper version. You can optimize these by flashing bios with 1.088 or 1.087v then save a ton on energy.

      Reply
      1. BT Rao

        Thanks a lot Max Lee!
        I really appreciate for a quick response. I go for cheapest of dual-x.
        I would like to know typical range of hashrate expected from these two dual-x cards.

        I am planning to start with 3 cards, later to expand to 6 cards with 2 PSUs.
        Could you please suggest PSU for 3/4 7950 cards, from cooler master silent pro.
        Confused with high output wattage on Gold series(specs).

        1000W Gold series:
        http://apac.coolermaster.com/en/product/Detail/powersupply/modular-silent-pro-gold/silent-pro-gold-1000w.html

        1000W Platinum series:
        http://apac.coolermaster.com/en/product/Detail/powersupply/modular-silent-pro-platinum/silent-pro-platinum-1000w.html

        OR 1200 W Gold series:
        http://apac.coolermaster.com/en/product/Detail/powersupply/modular-silent-pro-gold/silent-pro-gold-1200w.html

        One more query on risers. Can i use mix of powered /non powered all 1x risers on 990FXA-UD5 MB?
        Sorry for lot of questions.
        Thanks for your time and efforts to help.

        Reply
        1. Max Lee Post author

          7950s use around 225 watts, so 225 x 6 = 1350 watts plus you need to take around 150 watts for CPU + motherboard.

          If you install custom bios and undervolt each card, you may be able to do under 200 watts per card.

          But for now, I would get an 850 watt PSU, you don’t need 1000 watts for 3 cards. When you need to upgrade, just get another 850 PSU and connect it with Add2PSU.

          Platinum is most efficient in energy but may cost you a lot more over Gold. Gold should be fine for mining I think that’s what I usually use.

          Yes, you can use power/non-powered mix 1x risers, I wouldn’t actually power the molex connectors though unless you absolutely had to. With a good motherboard, I don’t think you need it.

          Reply
          1. BT Rao

            Thanks again Lee,
            Now i am decided with max 4 GPUs per rig, due to some power failures here, iI need to get UPS to compensate the same.

            I am getting Gigabyte-GA-990FXA-UD5-Rev-3-0 MB, so i can use all(4) 1x non powered risers without problem.
            Cam i stick with 1000 W 80+ Gold PSU for this setup(4x 7950 dual-x, Sempron 145, 2x4GB mem) ?I don’t plan to add more cards or additional PSU. Will setup separate rig for another 3/4 cards.
            I guess 1000 W is more than sufficient for 3x 7950 Rig, can it run 4 cards?
            Thanks

            Reply
            1. Max Lee Post author

              i have a such rig with 4 r9 290x cards they work fine if i run them a bit lower at 680kh/s each but 4 7950s should be no problem with 1 1000watt psu since 7950 uses less power.

              Reply
          2. Bekzod

            Hey man do you have any tips how to undervolt each card I would really appreciate. Also does it decrease electricity bill after doing that?

            THANK YOU!

            Reply
    2. Tom

      I see you are using the gigabyte ga990fxa-ud3. I have that same motherboard in ver 4.o and have been trying for 4 days to install ubuntu 12.04 64bit from usb with no success. If you have some “majick” bios settings or tips that might help….I would certainly appreciate your sharing them with me.
      Your site and articles are a great service to the beginner…..Thanks

      Tom Holland

      Reply
      1. Max Lee Post author

        You have to enable IOMMU in Bios when using a flash drive to boot ubuntu. Thats what u r missing so try that.

        Reply
        1. Tom

          Max

          Thanks for your speedy reply and taking the time to help me.

          I ran Rufus, checked 2x for bad blocks ( no errors), quick format, created an iso from downloaded file and created extended label and icon files. I then reset my bios, restarted then enabled Iommu, saved & rebooted to f 12, selected usb and enter. I get a black screen, with scrolled files (results?) that ends with Kernel panic-not syncing: attempted to kill init! exitcode0x00000009

          I have tried this numerous times with not only rufus, but unebootin and Linux live usb creator. Additionally, I have even tried with other downloads of Ubuntu 12.04 64bit, different usb’s and 1 new sandisk usb. Same errors. I know the usb is functional because when I make an attempt with Iommu disabled the Ubuntu screen with 5 dots appears, but goes to another screen and gives the error ” (initramfs) unable to find a medium containing a live file system”. (I assume the Ubuntu screen would never appear if the machine were not reading the usb. It’s a new, blank hard drive.)

          Thanks

          Tom

          Reply
          1. Max Lee Post author

            Try using this prebuilt image I made of Ubuntu 13.04 that works on any 8GB flash drive or higher: (Also I recommend using USB 3.0 drives as they are much faster than 2.0 drives, even if you only use 2.0 slots.)
            http://downloadandroidrom.com/file/zedomax/highoncoins/ubuntuimage/newubuntuimage.bin

            You can use ImageUSB free software here to flash this Ubuntu image:
            http://www.osforensics.com/tools/write-usb-images.html

            This image comes with AMD Radeon drivers preloaded and also id and password is:

            id: litecoin
            password: 123123

            You can use “passwd” command to change password after logging in.

            You can do:
            sudo aticonfig –initial -f –adapter=all
            then reboot and that will set the AMD graphic drivers to however many graphic cards you have.

            Also you can edit “mine.sh” file in the user folder for parameters for cgminer then just type:
            sh mine.sh
            to start cgminer.

            There’s more features in this prebuilt image but I will soon have a full image for everyone else also.

            Reply
          2. Tom

            Thanks again for your assistance, but I could not get to the linked download

            “Something has triggered an error on your website. This is the default error page for nginx that is distributed with EPEL. It is located /usr/share/nginx/html/50x.html

            You should customize this error page for your own site or edit the error_page directive in the nginx configuration file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf.”

            Reply
        2. Tom

          I just read my last post and realized that it was not very clear and might be taken as offensive. The part in quotes is the NGINX error that was posted. Definitely not my suggestions. I sincerely apologize if it was taken that way.

          Tom

          Reply
          1. Petey Pablo

            Can you please post another link to your custom linux image? I can not reach it at the link you provided. Can you host it somewhere else? Is there another location we can get it from?

            Cheers,
            – VR

            Reply
    3. jeremy

      I am new to building computers and a friend is who suggested building a mining rig, so I tried. I have assembled the rig you have posted with 5 asus r9 280x and on the D.I.Y wood frame. The only parts that differ from your computer is the PNY RAM and the power is 2x corsair 850. I have put everything together when plugged to power supply all gpu are lit green. But when I attempt to bridge the cmos to clear and boot nothing is happening. So basically I can not get system to boot. I figured I would message you for any advice at this point.

      Thanks
      Jeremy

      Reply
      1. Max Lee Post author

        There’s couple things to check:

        1. Check that the 2 motherboard connectors to psu.
        2. Check memory is seated correctly.
        3. Put just one graphic card and make sure PCIE and power to psu are connected.
        4. Unplug all USB cables.

        Then turn on the power. An easy way to power on your rig is to simply use a small metal such as a screw driver and short the two power switch pins.

        Once it boots u should see CPU fan spinning and your monitor coming on.

        Reply
  11. george

    Hi. Can i run my power supplies upside down as in this guide? I got my psu oriented same as in the guide, but i do not plan on running my rig on its side. I got the crate placed on another crate and the psu cables come out at bottom. Would this be a problem that the vent points down and hot air rises? Or will the psu intake fan push the air out the bottom anyway? THANKS!

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      You cannot block the psu vents unless there’s some room for it to vent. I wouldn’t recommend that no.

      Reply
  12. BT Rao

    Hi Lee again!
    I got GA-990FXA-UD5 , Sempron 145 and one Sapphire 7950 dual-x boost, waiting for Cooler master Silent Pro Gold 1000W PSU and 2 more GPUs.

    I cant find non powered 1x – 16x cables in my area. I can get 1x powered riser cable on ebay
    http://www.ebay.in/itm/191056459993

    Can i use the above riser cable without connecting power to molex?
    If required do i need to connect 4 pin peripheral connector to molex on riser cable?
    FYI my Dual-x got 2x 6 Pin PCI-e power connector.
    Please reply ASAP, so that i ca order riser cables to complete testing and setup as per your guide.
    Cheers!

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      yes u can use powered risers without connecting the molex, its the same thing as without if u dont connect the molex cable i do that all the time.

      Reply
      1. BT Rao

        Lee Great help!
        I really appreciate for your help i am getting for so many queries with much patience.

        May i request you to write a guide on GPU bios modding/tweaking in particular 7950 if possible for best mining results?

        Also separate post to share user configs and hashrates to help each others with details of card model, miner config, power consumption, temps and hash rates.
        Thanks again.

        Reply
  13. Thomas

    Please help,

    I have 6 r9 280x graphic cards (model # 100363L) You mention that you only need two 850w psu to cover all 6 280x graphic cards. But does this include if you decide to overclock your graphic cards?

    Is my math right: 230w * 6 = 1,380w + 200w for motherboard overhead = 1,580w.
    How does overclocking these cards add to the wattage? I’m just concerned 1,700w would not be enough. Thank you so much.

    I’m thinking after my rigs are built and running I’d like to send you a LTC donation. Shoot me your LTC address.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Thomas

      after further research the 280x graphic cards should not be overclocked and the 1700w is more than enough power to run 6 of these babies at @240-250w a piece. huge nba jam fan btw

      Reply
  14. Jon

    Hi Max. First off, thanks for your guides, they’ve really helped me get up and running with my first rig!

    I’m currently using 3 Vapor-X 280Xs with a Corsair 1200W PSU. I’m thinking about adding a fourth graphics card of the same type, and they’ll be using 3 16X and 1 1X unpowered risers. I was just wondering if this would be possible with my PSU? I don’t plan on doing any undervolting. It won’t be a tight squeeze will it? I don’t want to take any risks. Thanks Max.

    Reply
  15. L

    Hi Max,

    Thanks for the great tutos !! I’m building my gig and awaiting for the risers 😉
    I have 2 R9 running on the motherboard right now and will be adding 2 more.
    Could you make a tuto about installing and running some cgminer monitor from another machine? That would be greatly appreciated 😉 I can ssh my gig from my mac but I don’t know how to look at what’s going on 😉 Onl;y going to my pool tells me roughly what Kh/s I get.

    Thanks !!! Great work 😉

    Reply
  16. Dick

    Hee Max,
    We in the Netherlands love your shows and try to keep up with them! After successfully building our first miner with a setup of
    – 3X XFX 7950
    – 1X ASRock 970 Extreme4
    – 1X AMD Sempron 145
    – 1X Seasonic 860w Platinum PSU
    – 3X 16x PCI-e riser cables (unpowered)
    – 1X Kingston ValueRAM 4 GB
    A perfect first build, without any unsolvable problems. We installed Ubuntu with your tutorial, you are a very nice guide. We would like to tip co-miner to install Teamviewer (our likewise programs) so you could easy manage it when you are away from home.
    We are miners now!
    Already looking for a new setup, and checking you last upload we decide to build our second miner, a crate miner with the following setup,
    – 6X SAPPHIRE HD 7950 3GB with Boost
    – 2X Aerocool Strike-X EN53761 (1100 Watt)
    – 1X Kingston ValueRAM 4 GB
    – 1X AMD FX-4300
    – 3X 16x PCI-e riser cables (powered)
    – 3X 1x PCI-e riser cables (powered)
    – 1X GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 (rev. 1.0), socket AM3+
    – 1X Similar product as your ADD2PSU
    We now build a beautifully solid aluminum crate and hooked everything up, yesterday I powered it for the first time and within 3 seconds I fried the motherboard, of the chips above the location where you can find the 108dB started to catch fire, immediately I powered it off.
    Today we brought back the motherboard and we could get a new one, but now I am a bit afraid it will happen again…
    What would be your suggestion, would 6 GPUs be too much asked for this motherboard?
    Could it be that we just had bad luck with this motherboard?
    Can this motherboard give power to all six GPU chips, hearing all stories of fire catching riser cables?
    Also the following the question arrived, did we build a save setup?
    When your motherboards is melting when you’re looking at it is one thing, but what if you’re not at home?
    The new motherboard is now working fine, with just one GPU attached. To add the other 5 I’m still a little hesitant, what would your advice be?
    Hope to hear from you!
    All best!
    Dick

    Reply
    1. 8-bit

      Hey! I’m working on a rig now as well!

      After reading your post, doesn’t max say not to power your risers, because people’s rigs have been catching fire. That may be your problem, but I’m a n00b, so not positive.

      Reply
    2. Max Lee Post author

      Did you use powered risers with them powered? I think that may be the problem, I use powered risers but I never connect the Molex to actually power them. They have history of causing fires but if you use powered risers without actually using the molex connectors, you should be fine.

      Reply
    3. Max Lee Post author

      I have built around 15 rigs, all without powered risers (or powered risers without power), they all have 6 r9 280xes, I have had ZERO melting or fires FYI so they are pretty safe I think.

      Reply
  17. 8-bit

    If anyone had this issue, please chime in (:
    psu #1 (750w evga): cpu, motherboard, 2 x r9 280x graphic cards (100363L)
    psu #2 (750w evga): add2psu, 2 x r9 280x graphic cards

    I can power up cg miner and see my workers hashing(15kh/s), but when I specify settings for my graphic cards it immediately crashes and I notice that all GPUs attached to PSU#2 fans stop, while the two connected to PSU#1 fans continue to run. I’m thinking its something to do with the PSU#2 or possibly the add2psu converter, but not sure.

    ./cgminer –scrypt -o stratum+tcp://mining.usa.hypernova.pw:3333 -u Tommybstring.Tommybstring -p 12345 -I 13 -g 2 -w 256 –thread-concurrency 8192 –gpu-powertune -20 –temp-cutoff 80 –temp-overheat 75 –temp-target 70 –gpu-fan 15-85 –auto-fan –gpu-engine 1000 –gpu-memclock 1500

    I have .5 LTC for anyone that can help me get past this barrier. email me tommybstring@gmail.com if needed. thanks!

    Reply
    1. 8-bit

      Update : I have two GPUs running right now with the config above @650KH, no crashing what-so-ever.

      Still working on the 4 GPU crash problem.

      Reply
    2. Max Lee Post author

      Try changing GPU engine to 900 and memclock to 1350 for a start. Once that works well, start ramping up the values slowly until you max out your hashrate.

      Reply
  18. Dillan

    Hi man great video! thank you I have a question i built the rig with 4 r9 280x dual x, but when I’m trying to connect the display to the DVI port there is nothing on the display…. any suggestions? what kind of DVI or VGA cables should I use? please help.
    Thank You!

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      The motherboards usually default to the PCIE16 16x slot, so find the card on that slot and it should work. (It’s usually 1st or 2nd slot from the CPU)

      Reply
  19. Max Ramp

    Hi Max,
    First of all thanks for all your time sharing this tutorials and cool info about your rigs. Is the best site i’ve found so far on the matter. I’m still new to this, trying to figure out on which hardware should I invest!

    Can you share some figures? For instance with this AMD, 6 R9 280X at 700Kh/s each, how much profit you make a week mining ltc?

    Thanks and regards,
    Max

    Reply
  20. Nero

    Which R9 280X do you use? I bought mine at MicroCenter and I got the DIAMOND R9 280X but I heard people said I should be using the ASUS R9 280x. Do you know anything about this?

    Reply
  21. Dick

    Hee Max,

    I have the same motherboard as in your tutorial, the 990fxa-ud3 but it is rev.4.0. It gives problems installing/booting ubuntu with less then 4 gpu’s, and doesn’t install/boot ubuntu with more than 3 gpu’s. Do you know anything about this problem, maybe even a solution to this problem 🙂 ?
    What I found out is that 6 gpu’s might work on rev.1.0 and rev.2.0 but not for the rev’s above, those rev’s are ubuntu unfriendly.
    The supplier sold us a rev.1.0 for rev.4.0, when we where still not aware of this problem, be careful!

    Cheers

    Reply
  22. Robert

    Hey,

    I followed your guide and I am attempting to set up a rig for 4 cars (only have two right now) but I am running into a problem.

    I have (2) Gigabyte R9 280X cards, a gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 mother board, 8 gb ddr3 ram, Sempron single core cpu, and a corsair AX1200i 80+ platinum PSU.

    The self test on the PSU lets me know it works but when I plug everything up…. the cpu, motherboard, and cards… I turn the PSU on and plug the first 280x into a HDMI to DVI-D cable to connect to my monitor and then… nothing happens. The monitor just goes into “Power Saver Mode” and shuts off. So somewhere along the way my power is not making it to the cards or am I missing something? please help haha this is frustrating.

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Robert

      Scratch that… I got that part going haha now im stuck getting the Ubuntu working… I get the Ubuntu loading screen then it just goes to black and I can only see my mouse. I can get into the Demo or Live version sometimes but whenever I click on something the colors are all static and scrambled so you can see any options in the window. Any ideas about that? I didn’t see anything in your other post about Linux and cgminer

      Reply
          1. wade

            reinstall ubuntu. i had to do it a couple times for it to work for me. i burnt the iso image to a dvd and installed it that way and when i got the purple startup screen with the guy in a circle i hit f6 and dissabled nomodeset and it works everytime.

            Reply
          2. Robert

            Hey,

            The problem is that I don’t have a HDD. I am trying to boot from a USB. haha this is frustrating. I can boot into the “Try Ubuntu without installing” screen if I remove “quite splash” and replace with “nomodest” but then when I reboot I am right back to the same screen again. When I remove the boot USB and leave the additional one in that I installed Ubuntu on… I start up and I just get the black screen regardless if I change quite splash to nomodeset or not… any more ideas?

            Reply
  23. TD

    Here’s another in the exact same situation. Cannot get more than 4 cards recognized!!!

    Please, do not ignore us! How can we detect beyond 4 cards?!?!?!! I am at my wits’ end!

    MAX???!?!?!! Please!

    Reply
    1. wade

      start with one card and type sudo aticonfig –initial -f –adapter=all
      then shut down add another and repeat. what kind of risers are you using? i have 5 connected and running.

      Reply
      1. TD

        Wade, I appreciate the input. But, my issue lies in the fact that I cannot get a full boot, when a card is plugged in either 1x slot. I’m using 1x to 16x powered risers that I tried with and without the molex connected (unpowered). I turn on the machine, see the post screen and then the purple screen as if ubuntu will come up. But, it freezes on the purple (blank) screen!

        Any other suggestions!?!?!??

        Thanks.

        TD

        Reply
        1. wade

          you could try reinstalling ubuntu from a dvd. just burn iso image to the dvd and in boot options pick the dvd drive WITHOUT UEFI just the regular drive a purple screen will come up hit ENTER i beilieve then pick enlish and press f6 and check off NOMODESET. and proceed with install. NOW IM NOT SURE WHAT THIS DOES LOL BUT I HAD YOUR SAME PROBLEM AMONG MANY OTHERS AND THAT SEEMED TO DO THE ISSUE. and i know max said dont use powered 1x risers but i couldnt get them to work unpowered in the 1x slot. i havd successfully 4 cards running and when i add a 5th after a little bit (the times vary) it freezes i unplugged my 5th one and its still runing on 4 just fine. this is the hardest part getting all the cards to work connect and boot up imo

          Reply
        2. Paul

          I used the same components as the video & website. I found during my install I had to disconnect all but one of the video cards. After I got Ubuntu installed – I connected & configured the cards. Works fine now.

          Reply
  24. peeps

    Hay Max,

    Best tutorial out there by far, thanks a million.
    Did you need a POWER SW power switch to start the rig? I have the same motherboard.

    Thanks again!

    Cheers
    Maxi

    Reply
    1. Paul

      Read up on google “makeshift PC power switch” for ideas. You can also short the jumpers (at your own risk) to turn it on – then go into the bios & make it so it turns on when power is applied (so you won’t need a power switch).

      Reply
  25. Pushpendra Singh

    i m gonna buy 3x 280X for my rig[i5 2320+gigabyte ga b75m+2 7200rpm hdd] can u tell me good Smps for this rig ? also with using USB Risers i can connect to my mobo or buy a new one ?

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      I recommend Seasonic 850watt to 1000watt gold or platinum. Platinum is the best since you can maximize your hashrate and electricity. USB risers should work just fine.

      Reply
  26. Nygiants

    Hi Max, thanks so much for your time and showing everyone how to mine, lol! However, I am having a problem with no signal on my monitor at startup. Using most of the equip on your video, I have 2 says 280x and an 850 w psu. Have tried switching PCI slots, plugging gpu in directly to slot, even resetting CMOS. Still no signal. Any advice?
    Thanks again
    Nyguy

    Reply
    1. Nygiants

      Sorry, left out some info from the prev post, the gpu’s were Asus and both green LEDs are lit, fans are running, CPU fan on motherboard is running as well. Not getting any beeps as well.
      Thanks again
      Nyguy

      Reply
      1. Max Lee Post author

        Make sure the GPU connected to the monitor is in the first PCIe 16x slot, this usually is called 16x PCIE 1.

        Reply
        1. Nygiants

          Yes, thanks for your reply. I do have it in the 1st slot which is PCI 1x. I have tried numerous combinations of where to put as well and still no signal.

          Reply
  27. Shay

    Hi Max,
    I’m using GA-Z87X-D3H motherboard with 6 280x cards. I connected them all with PCI-e 1x to 16x Riser cables.
    It’s booting up and working fine but only 4 cards are detected (also after sudo aticonfig –initial -f –adapter=all).
    do I need to set something in the bios to work with all 6?

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      Try swapping your risers, usually they are at fault and disable any on-board peripherals like on-board sound which sometimes can affect 1X PCIe slots.

      Reply
      1. Nygiants

        Hi Max, just a follow up, turned out my new amd CPU was no good. Finally mining! Thx for your help!

        Reply
  28. Doge

    Can I use this GA-990FXA-UD3 (rev. 4.0) for 6x 750ti mining?

    It is good in compatibility? I red some comments that they are running with 6x 280x etc. etc. and it is good.

    Reply
  29. Peter Gray

    I just finished building my rig and have a quick question…… I’m using 4 XFX Double D R9-280X-TDFD Radeon R9 280X cards and ASRock 970 EXTREME4 Mobo and when I plug the monitor in to set up the bios nothing happens. Am I wrong to plug the monitor into one of the graphics cards? Should I be using the crossfire bridges? Is it possible I just need dummy plugs?

    Reply
    1. Peter Gray

      Never mind, I found the issue. Turns out I need male to male PCIE cables that are 8 to 6 and 2….. any idea where I can find them?

      Reply
  30. Adam

    Hi Max,
    I have the same mobo:
    6 hd5970’s only 4 work, 3 16x-16x risers, 1 16x-1x riser, but the 2 1x arn’t seen in win7, tried powered and non powered connections. Thanks.
    Adam

    Reply
  31. Dennis

    Hola Max:

    Thanks for the excellent tutorial.

    The 280x chipset GPUs appear to be much cheaper than the 7970s. I randomly picked one of each from PC Part Picker and note the GPU core clock speeds are the similar on both boards, with the cheaper board (280x, $279) clocking at 1.08 GHz and the other board 7970 costing $409 and clocking at 925 MHz.

    Do the 7970s give higher hash rates that offset the initial higher price differential?

    Thank you,
    Dennis

    Reply
  32. Woranath

    How can I connect the 6 graphic card in one motherboard I installed the 6 but only work 4 with two corsair 850 power
    Please help me

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *